Officers face hearing over death of man in police van

Lenny McCourt who died in police custody.
Lenny McCourt who died in police custody.
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A MISCONDUCT hearing into two officers after the death of a grandfather in police custody is due to take place this week.

Relatives of Lenny McCourt are expected to attend the disciplinary hearing, which will be held at Aykley Heads in Durham, on Thursday and Friday.

Mr McCourt died in the back of a police van as he was being transported from his home in Ash Crescent, Seaham, to Peterlee police station.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) recommended that the officers involved face charges of gross misconduct in relation to the 44-year-old’s death.

The police watchdog detailed a catalogue of failures, including officers waiting almost 10 minutes before trying to resuscitate Mr McCourt.

An inquest jury in November last year returned a verdict of misadventure, finding that Mr McCourt had died during his journey in the police van.

The jury ruled his death was caused by a combination of factors, including heart problems and the effects of alcohol and stress. Mr McCourt, who had an undetected heart condition, was pepper sprayed twice during his confrontation with police.

Mr McCourt’s sister-in-law, Tracey McCourt, 47, said: “We are expecting the case to go ahead on Thursday and Friday. As far as we know, it will only last two days.”